Vassilenas is a part of the city’s history, the “ambassador” of Greek gastronomy since the early 20th century. It is the place where the third-generation owner Thanassis Vassilenas continues a century-old culinary family legacy serving inspired modern Greek cuisine.
Established in 1920 and after serving customers for 96 years in its Piraeus port location, where the likes of Winston Churchill and Elia Kazan, T.S. Elliot and Rene Clair, Romy Schneider and Sofia Loren, Irene Papas and Melina Merkouri have dined, the most historic restaurant of the city has recently relocated to the Hilton hotel area, one of the most upcoming gastronomical spots of the city.
The new state of the art venue was designed by reputed architects Maria Kokkinou and Andreas Kourkoulas. With its Santorini volcanic pumice-stone walls, it reflects the urban glamour of the ’60s. Overlooking a beautiful small park, architecturally it “converses” with the flagship Hilton building just across the road. A stunning lighting effect is created by the hundreds of illuminated wine bottles suspended from the ceiling.
Since 2008, year after year, the restaurant has been receiving important culinary awards for its Greek creative cuisine. Here, you will enjoy casual fine dining with wise innovative touches from Chef Manolis Garnelis. He reinterprets traditional Greek recipes with the use of modern culinary techniques and focuses on sea dishes such as “savoro”-style red mullet, fresh Argolis prawns and amberjack tartar or the emblematic fish soup prepared with brown grouper. Meat lovers can savor dishes like beef skirt with fresh mushrooms, pickled onion and a honey-and-black-garlic sauce or lamb with fresh pasta homemade pappardelle and herb. For the warm season, the menu abounds with fresh salads and light options to go with the weather.
The seven-dish signature tasting menu is a unique experience you should not miss! Vassilenas was the first restaurant in Greece to introduce the concept, back in 1929!
The restaurant is heaven for wine lovers, with an impressive walk-in cellar that dominates the dining area and hosts more than 150 mostly Greek labels. The wine list is under the care of Gregory Michailos (AIWS) while the in-house head Sommelier Maria Delitsikou excels in pairing your food with the appropriate wine. Wine tasting seminars and food-and-wine tasting nights are regularly organized.
Vassilenas is located in the centre of Athens, within walking distance from various 4 and 5-star hotels, the Athens Concert Hall and the Byzantine Museum, offering easy access by taxi or metro; the staff, highly professional, will welcome you for a memorable gastronomic experience with Greek flavours that will awaken your senses.